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With Ascend, UNI introduces a new typology in the realm of Classroom Competitions. It intends to give an opportunity to students to master the potential of different building elements, that compose the design of a structure.

We also understand that a client’s input is critical in anchoring a building’s design. For an experience that is highlighted by the demands of the user, it is necessary for a designer and the client to work in unison. The competition intends to provide students an opportunity to devise design directives, by anchoring the client as the main focus. The client, though fictional, is rooted in the context of the real world.

The competition embarks on the idea of creating fundamental design challenges to enhance a student's learning experience. Providing opportunities that one may come across outside the domain of a design school.


A staircase or simply stairs is a construction designed to bridge a vertical distance by dividing it into smaller vertical steps. It is a means to transit. An idea that configures the stability of a place. A symbol of comfort and luxury. A necessity. A piece of fashion. An exhibition of imperial power. A staircase is a building component that showcases diverse possibilities. A complex element to solve geometrically, it is one of the most demanding design elements at a functional level.

The aim of the competition is for the participants to design a staircase, in collaboration with the client. Their two-story house has already been planned except for the main staircase, which they expect to be the status symbol of the property. The intent is to design a staircase and allow it to expand beyond its function of circulating people

To know more about the client, the residence to be intervened, and other details – click on ‘download brief’ below.